Evolution of AI through the ages

This is a guest post by Vikas Kulhari. Vikas is an Intelligent Automation Consultant at KPMG. He is a Certified Solution Architect helping clients design, create and maintain Intelligent and Robotics Process Automation (RPA) solutions.


Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is not a new technology anymore.

Most of the sectors have already started investing in AI research and implementation. It is ubiquitous now – Autonomous vehicles, Voice controlled bots, Facial Recognition, computer vision, ICR, search recommendations, robots, etc.

However, all of you may be thinking:

  • Who invented AI?
  • Who coined this term (AI)?
  • Where did all this begin? 

So, I thought to write a post about the AI journey. Here is a brief Timeline as I see it:

1943 – Turing Machine: Alan Turing invented the Turing test, which set the bar for the intelligent machine; the computer that could fool someone into thinking they were talking to a real person. Grey Walter built some of the first-ever robots.

1950 – I, Robot: It was published a collection of short stories by science fiction writer Isaac Asimov.

1956 – Artificial Intelligence: John McCarthy coined the term “Artificial Intelligence”. A “top-down approach” was dominant at the time: pre-programming a computer with the rules that govern human behavior. 

1969 – Shakey The Robot: The first general-propose mobile robot was built. It was able to make decisions about its actions by reasoning about its surroundings.

1968 – 2001: A Space Odyssey: Marvin Minsky, the founder of the AI Lab at MIT, advised Stankey Kubrick on the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, featuring an intelligent computer, HAL 9000.

1973 – AI Winter: The AI Winter began – millions had been spent with little to show for it. As a result, funding for the industry was slashed.

1981 – Narrow AI: Instead of trying to create a general intelligence, research shifted towards creating “expert systems”, which focused on much narrower tasks. 

1984 – Bottom-Up Approach: Rodney Brooks spearheaded the “bottom-up approach”. aiming to develop neural networks that simulated brain cells and learned new behaviors.

1998 – Deep Blue: Supercomputer Deep Blue developed by IBM, Faced world chess champion Garry Kasparov.

2002 – Roomba: iRobot created the first commercially successful robot for the home – an autonomous vacuum cleaner called Roomba.

2005 – BigDog: The US military started investing in autonomous robots. BigDog, made by Boston Dynamics, was one of the first.

2010 – Dancing NAO Robots: At Shanghai’s 2010 World Expo, 20 NAO robots danced in perfect harmony for 8 minutes.

2011 – Watson: IBM’s Watson took on the human brain in jeopardy and won against the two best performers of all time on the show.

2014 – Eugene Goostman: 64 years after the test was conceived, a chatbot called Eugene Goostman passed the Turing Test. Additionally, Google invested a billion dollars in driverless cars, and Skype launched real-time voice translation. Amazon launched Alexa, an intelligent virtual assistant with a Voice.

2016 – TAY: Tay was Microsoft’s chatbot. It caused some controversy when the bot began to post inflammatory and offensive tweets through its Twitter account. Microsoft then shut down the service after only 16 hours of launch.

2017 – AlphaGo: Google’s AlphaGo was the first computer program to defeat a professional human Go, player, the first to defeat a Go world champion, and was arguably the strongest Go player in history.

2018 – Google’s fascinating—and creepy—AI: it could make calls on behalf of a user and perform tasks such as booking restaurant tables and hair salon appointments.

2019 – Tesla and Scania’s Autonomous Vehicles: Tesla and Scania have already come up with concept self-driving cars and trucks. Scania trucks don’t have a cab and that may be a game-changer.

As AI grows rapidly, you would see a lot of big-scale AI projects shortly.


Like to make a Guest Post? Would love to hear from you.

Last Updated on 5th March 2020

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